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Relax: Just do it!

03/10/2021  /  Amy Galley  /  POSTED IN life 
In image of the new relaxation room that has a massage chair.
Newly remodeled relaxation room with beautiful mural and massage chairs.

It can be stressful out there.  Currently college students are reporting high levels of anxiety.  In 2015 57.7% of college students reported “overwhelming anxiety” many of whom met criteria for an anxiety disorder or panic attack.   These numbers are also reflected at Western as anxiety is the number one issue that students report to Wellbeing & Accessibility.  

Every person is unique and has a unique situation that causes anxiety.  They may have financial, family, academic, health, or social concerns. And let’s face it, we are also living through a pandemic that has affected us all in a variety of ways.  Although root causes and intensity may vary, it is important to know that everyone feels anxiety at one time or another and there are things that you can do to help reduce the symptoms. 

  • Breathing Techniques:  Try 4/7/8 breathing.  It’s easy and is shown to help soothe a racing heart or calm the nervous system.  Take a deep breath through your nose to a mental count of four.  Hold that breath for a count of seven and exhale slowly but completely for a count of eight.  Do this cycle three more times for a total of four.   
  • 5 Senses Exercise:  When you feel anxiety or panic coming on try to stop and pay attention to your senses.  Find and label 5 things that you can see maybe it’s your roommate, a flower, a picture of your dog, the view outside your nearest window, or maybe something as simple as a pen on your desk.  The find four things you can touch, perhaps it is the feeling of your favorite sweatshirt, the ground under your feet, your hair, or a pillow. Move on to find three things you can hear which could be the whirring of the heater or your own stomach growling.  Find two things you can smell which could be a sharpened pencil, essential oils, or perhaps just step outside to smell the fresh air.  Finally find one thing you can taste, perhaps a mint or piece of gum.   
  • Check out this online magazine that by simply putting in “anxiety” in the search bar will populate lots of articles, quizzes, and referrals to help you manage those anxious feelings and help students succeed, thrive, and matter at Western and beyond. Find a link on your western portal. 
  • Relaxation Room:  Come into Wellbeing & Accessibility and check out the relaxation room to take a purposeful break from the hustle and bustle of college life. We recommend you turn off your phone, turn on the aromatherapy and relaxing sound machine as you sit in a comfy new massage chair. Check out our newly redesigned relaxation room video. 
  • Counseling Services:  Western offers FREE counseling services to all students enrolled in a credit earning course.  Sometimes it is great to have an unbiased ear to discuss your anxieties and perhaps get some support on how to manage those stresses.  Contact Wellbeing & Accessibility at 307.382.1652 or stop by room 1227 to make an appointment. 


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